SMS, a rare syndrome caused by a deletion or mutation on section p11.2 of the 17th chromosome, causes many behavioral abnormalities that can be extremely stressful for the families affected by this condition.
November is the designated Smith-Magenis Syndrome Awareness Month, with SMS Day being celebrated around the world on the seventeenth.
“A lot of focus is given to strategies that will help our families cope with the challenging behavioral difficulties of SMS,” PRISMS executive director Emily Fields explains, “but we also want to recognize the many positive attributes people with Smith-Magenis syndrome bring to our communities.”
Those SMS Superpowers are the ability to love everyone, performing without sleep and beginning each day anew.
However Jackie, 25 and born with Smith-Magenis syndrome, is not sporting her super hero shirt just for awareness.
She has a unique connection to the Justice League.
“I know Batman,” Jackie mentions nonchalantly.
“You know, Ben Affleck. He was at my gym. We worked out together.”
In 2014, Ben Affleck was in Jackie’s hometown for filming of the psychological thriller, “Gone Girl.”
During that time, he began preparing for his next role as the crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne.
And he needed a place to work out.
He found that place at the medically integrated facility, Fitness Plus. It is part of the Saint Francis Medical Center where Jackie’s mom, Bernadette Huston is employed.
Fitness Plus boasts the area’s largest indoor track and four different pools available for all types of water exercise.
“It’s a great facility,” Bernadette explains. “It’s open for employees and patients of the hospital, but also membership is available to the public. So, we have people of all different abilities working out together in the same space.”
And that is how two superheroes, one with Smith-Magenis syndrome and one with an Academy Award, met in a weight room.
Not that Jackie is all that star struck.
“He was just really nice.”
After another moment she adds, “And cute!”